Playing back 4K (UHD Ultra High Definition)

Discussion in 'CAMERA Models' FAQ' started by Troy, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. Troy

    Troy Administrator

    Feb 28, 2017
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    Playing back 4K (UHD Ultra High Definition)

    We now see 4K in lots of places. It's on a lot of consumer devices and entertainment appliances, and it is absolutely awesome.
    The caveat is that-- 4K content requires quite a lot of things to actually work and play smoothly. It's not exactly just plug and play.
    Well, at least for now that the technologies available to the masses is still transitioning.
    Having a 4K capable camera is just one side of the whole picture. And there are many sides to this.
    Let me list down the basics:

    1. True 4K or 4K-capable Camera. One has the capacity to record in full 4K resolution, the other is interpolated (mathematically guessing) to achieve the full 4K resolution. This part is obviously optional if we're talking about content played from the internet.

    2. Storage. Since 4K and 2K video files are huge. You will need a big one. Get the biggest you can get that works with your camera. With at least an 90MB/s Write speed. Or your card will struggle when the camera tries to write the file to it. Your camera will overheat and you will get erratic performance if your card cannot keep up with the 4K being written onto it. (This is also optional if you have the files streaming from the internet)

    3. Transport. USB cable, WiFi, DSL, Cable, Fiber, etc. You need one that's fast enough for moving that gargantuan file to keep the processing unit fed.
    Some people have reported that sometimes even 1080p 60 will be choppy when playing it on a computer while the actual file is in the camera, plugged in via USB version 1.0
    Yes, you read that right. Even USB has transfer speeds.

    4. Playback
    . This is your 4K TV's processing hardware, your laptop/desktop's graphics processor, tablet or smartphone's CPU and GPU. If you devices' processors are not ready for such huge processes when reading the file and then displaying it, then it will not work properly

    5. CODEC: It means Compressor-Decompressor, or Coder-Decoder, which is required to "read" how the digital file is formed.
    Your TV or computer or tablet does not know what the file contains, it needs a specific set of instructions on how to read it.
    If you do not have the correct CODEC on your device, you will need to install it so that playback does happen..
    For media player apps, just look for the app-specific codec files on the App Store or Google Play,

    6. Display. The actual screen where you watch the content on. When you already have everything, from the processor, the app, to the CODEC, but your screen resolution is too small, then you just can't expect too much.
    If you have a huge-a-- I mean... giant TV, capable of playing 4K UHD, you still have to move far away from it to watch your content. See what this implies?

    Now, given that the amount of data that a 4K video has is MASSIVE, think about it as a system.
    If one of these parts mentioned above is slowed down or faulty, your wonderful 4K video is going to stutter, get blocky, or just stop completely.

    People complain that it may be the camera's fault or the app, or the device, not realizing how important the other parts of the system is to show you that 4K video.

    So next time you shoot anything in 4K, think about how you intend to play them back later.
    And be sure that your options will run the now-state-of-the-art ultra high definition files.

    If you're recording in 4k, even in 2K, and scaling it down so it can upload faster on YouTube or Facebook, you may actually be missing the point.

    And about editing 4K footages, it gets a ton more complicated.
    You need a fast enough computer, a large hard drive, big and fast RAM, an updated video card, and a lot of patience.
    We can write about that here but that calls for an entirely different thread topic.

    Got anything to add? Post it below!
    EMRBondoc and TechTronic9000 like this.

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